Saturday, January 30, 2010


The morning of January 30th, 2010 looked like just any other day when I got up at 6. The roof of the barn looked like it had a good coating of frost, nothing more, as the ground was clear. It is still dark here at 6 AM this time of year here. So I turned the spot light on - and what do you know! There were little fine snow flakes coming down. So, I went about my usual morning business. I usually have a ton of computer work to do on Sat morning, but this Sat there was even more than usual, as I had been in a class for Planning Commissioners for 2 days and had not been home to get anything done. And, I confess, I was too tired after class to do more than eat dinner, take a shower, and stumble into bed. So, I turned the old DELL on, went back into my bathroom to get dressed, fixed a cup of tea, got on line, and started to play catch-up. I had a week's worth of emails to answer. I glanced at the amusing ones, saved the tough for later - my post-Starbucks mail, as it were... and tried to get some work done and get my Sunday Musings started - something I usually have nearly done by Sat morning. The morning began to get a bit lighter... no, the sun never showed its face... The official 8 AM measurement for CoCoRaHS was 1/2 an inch. WBOC called a little before 8 and asked me if the snow had started, how much we had, and if I was willing to go on the air in a few minutes. By 9:30, we were a bit oven an inch. 11:30 had us over 2 inches, and by the time of the 1:30 broadcast (WBOC) we had 5 inches in the open areas, but drifts around Anna's van were half way to my knees. The birds were hungry, so it was a great opportunity to get pics of the cardinals. Here is Mr Cardinal in the camellia out front, and again at a feeder. See Mrs Cardinal in the camellia?

It was kinda cool doing live broadcasts from my yard for the Salisbury TV station. The first time I did that for them was during a hurricane and my BIG walnut tree out front blew over right on schedule. I caught the words "Oh $hit!" just before they came out of my mouth as I was standing only about 30 feet away from the tree. Today's broadcasts were much more uneventful, thank goodness!
AT 7 inches... plus...the van an hour after we cleaned it off... a barn in the snow... the camellia, Aunt Alice, Buddha 1, Buddha 2 (up to his chin in snow almost! Gonna have to wade out there again before dark.) (these Buddhas are 2 feet high) And St Francis standing next to the birdbath! Didja ever wonder where the kitty goes when he has to, um, go? And the snow is higher than his, um, water pistol? Well, I shoveled a path for him, but he did not want to come out to use it, so he ducked into this little shelter. As I type this, there are 4 male cardinals out the window argueing about feeder rights. And the snow still comes down... Some parts of the yard are over 9 inches now... and the temps are dropping. It is now down to 20 at 3:30 in the afternoon.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

MISSING IN ACTION - once again...

SEEMS LIKE I have a hard time getting anything done these days... well, in the blog department, anyway. For excuses I guess I should start with a computer that is truly on its last legs and is now so slow... I can get all kinds of things done waiting for something to come up on the screen. sigh... Unfortunately, not much of that getting things done is in the housecleaning department, either. (another sigh) I have paperwork coming out of my ears these days. No, not a pretty picture - and Board meetings "out the ying yang" as an old friend used to say. My calendar looks like a rainbow - I color code meetings - helps me grab the right notebook on the way out the door. Ya gotta do things like this when you are as disorganized as I am. As a dyslexic child (back before they had a name for it) I learned how to make cheat notes for myself in order to get myself together - one being to color code stuff so I could find the right thing at the right time. Colors don't reverse themselves like letters and numbers do... but I digress... as usual. I had planned on doing a posting on Lymes disease but have not gotten that together. Need to be better organized on that... had a couple other things I started on... started one on Haiti - but so did everyone else, and they all did such a good job, I will leave it to them.
Then the other day, well, OK, over a week ago, we had some seriously cold weather here. Someone in the neighborhood complained to someone else about my cats being OUTSIDE in this weather. Now, the complainer did not come to me - she just bit--ed to a friend who tried to reassure her, but she was ready to call in the SPCA and report me for animal cruelty. I have tried to bring Punk and Spook inside - but Spook nearly went thru the window to get out - the window was closed... and Punk spent the night crying at the back door until I gave in and let him out. They have several heated "nests" as I call them. Their favorite used to be a heated box next to the back steps. However, a coon tried to get in there with them, and that upset them mightily! A possum took over their first box with an open vent to the furnace room, so they abandoned that one. Last week I ordered an 'outdoor heated pad.' This is it - the white is a cover over the heated pad. The pale green in the back is a carpet sample... there are carpet samples on the sides, too, to help keep the cold wind from blowing thru the poorly constructed box.
On a shelf above is the thermostatically controlled outlet that turns the heat on at 35 degrees but off at 45. The cord is wrapped in wire to keep it from being chewed by an animal. I realize the box is pretty dumb looking, but it was in the 30s when the pad arrived in the mail, and too cold to mess around with setting up the horses and getting out the saw. Mostly I just grabbed whatever scraps I had handy and put it together as fast as I could before my fingers froze off! The cats, however did not care how bad it looked, it was warm to their little toes, that was all that mattered. Unfortunately I had trouble getting pictures of them inside as they came out whenever I opened the door thinking I might be bringing a snack! Their first "cat house" is the blue and white box under the "new box." Eventually the plastic will be allowed to hang free keeping it even warmer and - should we have a blowing snow - it will be dry. But for now, the plastic is tucked back until they get used to the box. Meanwhile, back in the house, Hadji has adopted a plastic bag with little toy dinosaurs in it as his new private property. See the little dinosaurs?The Rat (Rascal) is not allowed to set foot on it. Yesterday, Hadj slept on it for most of the day. How can this be comfortable? Rascal had the right idea, he was asleep on the bed.

I do hope you are staying warm and comfortable this winter's day!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


THE SQUIRREL population has dramatically increased the last few years - a miracle, really, when you watch them run back and forth across the road. There is a pecan tree across the road, you see. My pecan trees are too young to have nuts.
I long ago learned that there is no such thing as a cheap bird feeder. The squirrels destroy the cheap ones sometimes in a matter of weeks. It would have been better to buy the more expensive one with metal guards on it in the first place. The little guys seem to figure out how to get into just about everything. Years ago we got a squirrel feeder. It did OK until the Coons found it and ripped it apart. It took a lot of patching to make it usable again, and, again, it was destroyed in the first week. My friend bought a new cedar one, and in one week, one squirrel who could not figure it out had chewed the plastic and the lid, see it? Then one evening I watched as a coon tried to take the back off. However, when they can figure it out, they seem to have a good time eating. I have been told I have the fattest squirrels in town. When the food level gets down, they just crawl right inside and eat.
And a question for you - why do they call this a squirrel BAFFLE? One of the squirrels hides under it. Guess it makes a good snow baffle... or umbrella? And, another new visitor. This pretty little thing didn't find any bananas the other night, so she came by to check out the cat food. I began to wonder if she was one I had released here, as she seemed quite tame. I did not try to touch her, just sat on the steps and took pictures. And a reminder to those of you who kill or scare off possums - they DO NOT GET RABIES, and they will eat mice and rats and all kinds of bugs AND they will eat poisonous snakes. POSSUMS ARE YOUR FRIEND! Just trust me on that - or google opossums and read all about them.

Friday, January 08, 2010


Imagine this! No, wait, we don't have to imagine... it is real! We got 2 inches of snow over night - and, it is still coming down. However, at this moment, it is also 35 degrees, so there is a bit of melting. The roads are just wet. Here are some shots from EARLY this morning... Tha camellia - see the frozen flowers? The blueberry "cage" - otherwise the deer eat the bushes down to the ground. Naughty, naughty...

St Francis in the snow........ and the BuddhaBeauty berries.........The temps are supposed to be in the teens tomorrow, so it will be interesting to see what it looks like then. More later!